Friday, January 24, 2014

Finding your thing

Like all people I have a mix of friends with varying characteristics and differences.  Between my kids, studies and my exercise I have very little time to do anything social especially during the week.  Unfortunately it means I seldom see the non active friends but my course load is terrifying this year so if I want to continue my goal of distinctions all round this is the way it has to be.

Why a 5 year honours degree with distinctions?  Why a Triathlon sprint that has now become an Olympic distance goal?   Why so extreme?   It seems I now have a scientific answer thanks to one of my psyche subjects which is Abnormal behavior and mental health.  Anxiety and depression are often genetic and we are born with a predisposition to one or both.  My entire family battles or have had to battle these demons and my grandmother eventually lost the battle in her seventies when she took her own life.  I think she would have led a very different life had she been on meds but it was a different time back then.

Anyway, as you know Anxiety is my thing.  It has been wild lately.  I have a box of xanor but they are very addictive so I save them for emergency days.  Other days are talking myself through a situation, breathing and of course exercise which I am now completely addicted to.  I really believe its the chemical endorphins as I feel irritable if I am forced to have a few days break.  My body is super sensitive to drugs and anti-deps are not possible for me.  But I am waffling on.  Back to my extreme goals and behaviour.  I read people predisposed to anxiety are also predisposed to anxiety producing behaviour.  Yes I know what you thinking: chicken-egg, which comes first.  Am I anxious because I am making choices to do scary big things or do I choose to do these things because and have this underlying anxiety and the predisposition to choose these challenges.  I remember being about 15 and we had a school play.  I was terrified of public speaking like many out there so what did I do, I forced myself to try out and got the part and had to stand on stage speaking my part wanting to vomit from nerves.  (I was pretty terrible)  I also got a part time job as a lecturer in my early twenties also feeling a little sick each time I had to speak.   Of course later I conquered this fear when I started my charity Bosom Buddies and spoke at many events.   Studying, doing Triathlons, wanting to enter Survivor, climb Kilimanjaro, start a career at 46...great fodder for Agatha.  I could be peaceful and walk my dog every day and chill in my home and meet friends and have time to cook supper early so afternoon extra mural fetching could be less stressful.   I could swim in the sea just because I love it and not force myself to swim 2.2km at 6 in the morning.   I would be calmer I think.  For a while.  And then I would be restless.  I would need that adrenalin, cortisol, the rush of the challenge and the purpose of the goal.  Agatha in small doses is great, she is gas in my tank, speed in my veins.

So back to the title of this post which has taken its own tangent.  I think Triathlons are my thing.  They are big enough for me to feed my Aggie.  I also have the determination and self-discipline for this sport although unfortunately I do not have the natural talent or athleticism in any of the disciplines.  This sucks a lot as I am competitive.   I am unlikely to do well compared to others but fortunately it really is enough for me to just complete them and race against myself.  Improving times, techniques, challenges and trying to go longer distances.  I love being part of like minded people who also feel this need to push themselves.  Who get outside ones comfort zone.  Next plan is finding a formal group to train with who has a coach.  I know nothing at this point and my nutrition isn't right so I have muscle cramps and the lymph problems and I am probably on the scrawny side.  I am excited to find my thing and it might just be a phase like my surfing but that's also OK because it just means new and exciting and scary challenges in the future.   Sjoe, deep breaths my poor ol excited racey heart.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hope Junkie in rehab?

Most of you who know me know that I am the eternal optimist.  The romantic sentimental idealist who chooses love, who chooses happily ever after.  I am the hope junkie who rides life without a crash helmet veering from crushing defeat to ecstatic triumph.  From agony to ecstasy.  My anxiety means I am also full of energy, sometimes angst and sometimes good energy.   Medication is not an option for me.  I have tried many with disastrous consequence.   I manage my anxiety Agatha and while I sometimes long for in between and calm dove grey it seems blinding brilliant white and pitch dark black are more the colours of my palette called me.

As I mentioned in my last blog post the past 5 years have been rough.  Much of the real sh*t stuff that happens is too personal to share or involves others but I mentioned enough to reveal that for half a decade life has been a series of huge waves that dump me sucking me under and just when I pop up to gasp for air and get the sand out my bikini bottoms another set rolls in and I have to fight my way through the rough sea.  Each year I start off saying THIS year is going to be better.  Its going to be happy, easier, less eventful, more gentle.  The ocean will be an azure blue and I will happily bob along in tepid temperatures.  For the first time I dare not think it or say it.  The bible says to speak things into existence and I really do believe we need to speak life but somehow I have lost my Mel-Mojo.  Could the hope junkie have disappeared?   I am not cynical but I am also feeling horribly realistic.  Like life doesn't owe me, I don't have a guarantee of a happier easier year.  Stuff happens every day and why should I be exempt.  Its a horrible feeling and Gary misses the up and down me.  The girl who although gets so crushed also gets so frikkin excited and happy.  I miss her too.  I am afraid to climb up, to hope, to look out for fairies and unicorns living in my garden.  I am afraid that another fall from my super happy high place will break me forever so I dare not climb up there.

Do I stay this realist where its safer?  Do I live each day working towards my goals and cherishing all I have.  Do I let go of certain pictures that I was so certain were true?  I can't live in the past and I want to move forward and I am truly excited about my study goals and my exercise goals.  The excitement is that mix of anticipation, anxiety, expectation and hope.  Yes, hope.  I guess I do still hope but I do it a little more cautiously and hold back instead of recklessly throwing myself in.   I loved being brave.  I loved that I was able to hope again after each setback and believing that things would turn around.   Maybe its not losing my balls?  Maybe its just growing up at the grand age of 42 and half?  I don't know.

PS:  Just read my post.  Maybe I am depro?  PMS?  No, just don't know whats up with me??